Opposition parties in WC call on DA to remove Helen Zille

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has reiterated that her tweets were not justifying or praising colonialism or apartheid.

FILE: Western Cape Premier Helen Zille in the Western Cape Legislature. Picture: @WesternCapeGov/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Opposition parties in the Western Cape Legislature have called on the Democratic Alliance (DA) to show it supports non-racialism by removing Premier Helen Zille from her post.

During a snap debate in the provincial Parliament on Tuesday, the African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) pushed for Zille to step down for tweeting the legacy of colonialism was not only negative.

But Zille and DA members argued she never justified or praised colonialism or apartheid.

Zille was unmoved and stood her ground while facing a barrage of criticism from opposition parties, calling for her head.

Zille also stuck by her statements that the legacy of colonialism was not only negative.

“I’m talking about the motor car. Today in South Africa, this colonial leftover is not only a means of transport but the ultimate status symbol.”

But ANC caucus leader Khaya Magaxa questioned Zille’s knowledge of African history.

“The notion that colonialism brought civilisation to Africa is a racist fabrication.”

Magaxa along with EFF MPL Bernard Joseph also challenged the DA federal executive, which meets this weekend to discuss a report on Zille’s tweets.

Zille has reiterated that her tweets were not justifying or praising colonialism or apartheid.

She said colonialism had a diabolical impact on the world and South Africa was not spared.

“This was the very premise of my tweets. Anyone who read them without a personal or political agenda would have understood that.”

The premier added her statements were not meant to cause harm.

“But if there was anyone who genuinely thought that I was defending, praising or justifying colonialism I apologise unreservedly and stress that this was not so.”

Zille also used her efforts in the fight against apartheid as an anecdote to reject claims she supports the unjust system.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)